PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — At long last, the longest postseason drought in baseball has ended, three days after baseball’s previous longest drought ended. The Philadelphia Phillies punched their first ticket to the postseason since 2011 with a 3-0 win over the Houston Astros on Monday night.
Aaron Nola took a perfect game into the seventh inning and Kyle Schwarber set a franchise record with his eighth multi-home run game. Schwarber crushed the first pitch of the game to left field to give Nola a 1-0 lead.
Nola then threw 6 2/3 perfect innings before giving up his first two hits. Bryson Stott hit his 10th homer of the season in the top of the 8th, and Schwarber followed it with his 46th homer of the campaign.
The Phillies entered Monday needed to win one of their final three games or the Brewers to lose once. Milwaukee was trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the ninth when the Brewers stormed back to force extras and then won the game, 6-5, in 10 innings.
Thanks to Nola and Schwarber, the Brewers’ result didn’t matter.
The Phillies will be either the second or third wild card, depending on what happens in the final three games.
Philadelphia currently owns the third wild-card spot but has the tiebreaker over the San Diego Padres, who have a one-game lead.
If the Phillies and Padres finish with the same record, the Phils get the second wild-card spot because they own the tiebreaker. San Diego has to finish ahead of the Phillies in order to win the second spot.
The Phils came into the season owning MLB’s second-longest postseason drought behind the Seattle Mariners, who hadn’t qualified for the playoffs in 21 years. Seattle ended its drought on Friday night, which elevated the Phillies to the longest drought in baseball.
Who will the Phillies play when the postseason opens Friday? That’s dependent on which wild-card spot they finish in, but all three games will be on the road.
If the Phils win the second wild-card spot, that means a trip to either New York or Atlanta. The Braves, entering Monday, have a two-game lead over the Mets for the NL East lead. The Braves’ magic number is one to clinch the division.
If the Phils end up with the third wild-card spot, they’ll head to St. Louis for a three-game series beginning Friday.
The last time the Phillies were in the playoffs was 2011, when they finished 100-62. They lost in the National League Division Series to the Cardinals.
This Friday, perhaps the Phils could get some revenge.
Nonetheless, the Phillies are in the playoffs.